Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW student told he would never work again

TAFE NSW Port Macquarie

TAFE NSW Port Macquarie student, Phillip Duncum suffered from severe injuries after a drunk driver strayed onto the wrong side of the road and collided into his vehicle in an accident in 2015.

Mr Duncum was left with life threatening injuries which resulted in four months in hospital and ongoing rehabilitation. Doctors told Mr Duncum that he would likely never work again due to his injuries.

Choosing not to be defeated by his injuries and determined to continue learning and growing as an individual, Mr Duncum is now expanding on his previous training in Aged Care at TAFE NSW by enrolling in a Certificate IV in Leisure & Health.

Working closely with TAFE NSW Head Teacher Consultant for Access, Support & Disabilities, Wendy McKinlay, together they set out an achievable modified program so that Mr Duncum can take his time to complete his course.

Mr Duncum has now gained employment at Laurieton Lakeside Aged Care Residence where he loves working.

“I mostly enjoy talking to the residents. A lot of the residents don’t always get visitors so I enjoy giving the time to chat to someone. It’s nice to be able to get to know the different personalities.”

Using his course to aid in his recovery, Mr Duncum says he continues to study because he likes to learn and keep his mind active.

“Adapting to a new way of life is a long journey after being diagnosed with a disability; I work at a slower pace, but with support, patience and guidance from Wendy and many of the TAFE NSW Disability Consultants, I manage to get past the hurdles and struggles.

“My course at TAFE NSW is a form of therapy. The study keeps my mind stimulated and TAFE NSW has really supported me.”

TAFE NSW research has found that of all the occupations across the Central Coast to Far North Coast region, the Aged or Disabled Carer job sector is forecast to experience the highest growth in employment to 2021.

Over this time, more than 4,300 additional people are forecast to be employed as aged or disabled carers in NSW - an increase of over 10%.[1]

For more detail on TAFE NSW courses, face-to-face or online with TAFE Digital, visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer,


[1] * Australian Government, Aged and Disabled carers,